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Anti-Racism: Home

About This Guide

This guide attempts to provide general information and a starting point to learn about anti-racism, inclusion, and privilege, as well as provide knowledge and resources. The FSU community is welcome to suggest resources, guides, or any other information relevant to this guide by emailing hmonaghan@framingham.edu.

Background

What is Racism?

Racism is prejudice plus power; anyone of any race can have/exhibit racial prejudice, but in North America, white people have the institutional power, therefor Racism is a systematic discrimination or antagonism directed against people of color based on the belief that whiteness is superior. It is insidious, systematic, devastating, and integral to understanding both the history of the United States and the everyday experiences of those of us living in this country. 

What Does Racism Look Like? 

Microaggressions -- Racial Microaggressions are commonplace verbal or behavioral indignities, weather intentional or unintentional, which communicate hostile, derogatory, or negative slights and insults in relation to race. They are structurally based and involve oppressive systems of racial hierarchy. Racial Microinvalidations, Microinsults, and Microassaults are all specific types of microagressions. Note: The prefix "micro" is used because these are invocations of racial hierarchy at the individual level (person to person), whereas the "macro" level refers to aggressions committed by structures as a whole (e.g. and organizational policy). "Micro" in no way minimizes or otherwise evaluates the impact or seriousness of the aggressions. 

Tokenism and Stereotypes -- Tokenism is presence without meaningful participation. For example, a superficial invitation for participation without ongoing dialog and support, handpicked representatives who are expected to speak for the whole (socially oppressed) group (e.g. 'tell us how women experience this issue'). Tokenism is often used as a band-aid solution to help the group improve it's image (e.g. 'we're not racist, look there a person of color on the panel.'). (From Sustainable Campuses)

Similarly, this attitude of "one is enough/they're all the same" contributes to the mindset that one person of color or one native person can stand in for all people of color and native people respectively. Not only is this problematic and illogical to assume that one individual's perspective and experiences can be generalized to millions of other people, it also promotes to the idea that a friendship, relationship, or just exposure to one or a few people of color or native people negates racist thoughts, ideas, or behavior towards others

Color Blindness -- Colorblindness is the racial ideology that posits the best way to end discrimination is by treating individuals as equally as possible, without regard to race, culture, or ethnicity. This not only amounts to a dismissal of the lived experiences of people of color, but also suggests that racism does not exist so long as one ignores it. At face value, colorblindness seems like a good thing -- actually living up to Dr. King's ideal of judging people on the content of their character rather than the color of their skin. However, colorblindess alone is not sufficient to combat racism or heal racial wounds on a national or personal level.It is only a half measure that, in the end, operates as a form of racism. (From PsychologyToday.com)

Violence 

Source: Simmons Anti-Racism Research Guide: https://simmons.libguides.com/anti-oppression/anti-racism